Hiring a Virtual Receptionist vs Hiring a Receptionist In House: Which Is Better?
Receptionists are key employees for businesses of all niches and sizes. They’re the first voice and/or face clients, vendors, and even other prospective employees often meet and are typically responsible for coordinating all the juggling balls a business has in motion.
Receptionist Staffing Solutions
When it comes to staffing a receptionist, employers have two main options to consider:
Option one is an in-house, traditional receptionist. These receptionists are directly hired, managed, and counted as an employee by the business.
Option two is outsourcing a virtual receptionist from an agency like Front Office Solutions (FOS.) Customized answering services and/or virtual receptionists fulfill the receptionist staffing needs without counting as an employee, and callers are none the wiser that they aren’t speaking with a receptionist physically present at the business.
Not sure which is the best receptionist staffing solution? Each option has pros and cons to consider in making such an important decision, but a quick rundown of the facets involved will show several clear and invaluable perks in choosing a virtual receptionist over the traditional receptionist.
Traditional In-House Receptionist
They’re often deemed as an administrative superhero because of their ability to multitask, prioritize, organize, and just all around keep things running efficiently and effectively. No doubt that there’s great value in having such an employee in-house. However, such an in-house asset comes with several cost and productivity considerations:
• Employee-Related Costs
As an employee, in-house receptionists are entitled to benefit packages, sick leave, vacation, possible holidays, lunch breaks and rest breaks, workman’s comp, and so forth. The salary alone for an in-house receptionist averages close to $30,000 per year. And, should the employer decide to fire a receptionist not up to par, they’ll be paying unemployment benefits and possibly fending off a wrongful termination lawsuit.
• Office-Related Costs
In-house receptionists will need a work space, office supplies, and office equipment to perform work tasks. These will also have routine maintenances and repairs to consider. On average, office supplies alone cost almost $250 a year.
• Employee Turnover Costs
From recruitment efforts, background checks and training, and HR time and effort, it costs a fortune each time a business makes a new hire. Employers can analyze internal turnover rates and industry-specific statistics for a more in-depth cost/benefit analysis, but it costs on average about 16% of the applicable annual salary to replace an employee.
• One Person = One Call
As a single employee, a receptionist can’t handle but one call at a time, and they can’t even do that when they’re absent, on break, or off for vacation.
Receptionists also completing administrative duties may seem like great productivity assets, but there’s a reason that callers often get annoyed when trying to conduct business over the phone with companies. They need 100% attention that they’re not getting from an otherwise engaged employee shuffling other tasks. This can do irreparable damage to a company’s brand and their conversion efforts.
How many potential clients and business opportunities are lost to being put on hold or sent to voicemail? Again, one receptionist equals one call. There are also nights, weekends, and holidays where the phone goes unmanned and unanswered, which results in countless opportunities being lost to competitors who do have their phones manned.
In opting for a virtual receptionist an employer actually receives more benefits than with just an in house receptionist, but the lower cost and productivity gains are undeniable and significant.
• No Employee-Related, Office-Related, Nor Employee Turnover Costs
Employers will not have the cost burden of benefit packages, salaries, vacation, sick leave, maternity leave, workman’s comp, unemployment benefits, and so forth. There’s not a single office-related cost. Employee turnover costs are also zero.
The only cost obligation with a virtual receptionist is in the service fee paid directly to Front Office Solutions. Since the pay for a virtual receptionist is purely call or package based, employers enjoy the flexibility of not having to pay an idle employee when there’s no work available.
• Phones Are Always Answered
No matter how large the call volume is or when the call comes in, having a virtual receptionist means that the line is never busy and the call never goes unanswered. Access and availability are never issues with a virtual receptionist.
• No Multitasking Involved
The virtual receptionist is devoted to one thing – the caller. Each call is answered with an unhurried, focus-ready, friendly, and professional tone. They’ll know the business inside and out to provide customer service, lead capture, or customized scripted delivery.
The Best Of Both Worlds
Companies that don’t want to choose between an in-house and virtual receptionist can always opt for both as a permanent solution or as a trial run. The in-house receptionist can handle normal call volumes during business hours and still attend administrative duties. The virtual receptionist picks up the slack for heavy call volumes, takes over for after hours and holiday calls, and steps in whenever the in-house receptionist is absent or otherwise engaged.
Contact Front Office Solutions Today
The benefits of incorporating a virtual receptionist into a company’s communication solution strategy are clear. Need a free trial run to see if a virtual receptionist is a good fit? Have questions? Contact Front Office Solutions today to discuss how to take your business’s communication game up a notch, or you can just see for yourself with 7 free trial days.
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